Funding flows: direct and indirect funding

The majority of global health R&D funding goes straight from funder organisations to product developers. However, a significant portion of investments flows from funder organisations to product developers via product development partnerships (PDPs) and other intermediary organisations. We call funding from funder organisations to intermediary organisations 'inward' funding, and that of intermediary organisations to product developers 'onward' funding.

Diagram illustrating direct and indirect funding. Direct funding is funding to product developers + inward funding to intermediaries. Indirect funding is funding to product developers + onward funding to intermediaries

The default setting in the portal is to display funding going straight to product developers (including self-funding) in addition to inward funding to PDPs and other intermediaries, referred to as DIRECT funding. This is also the default analysis used in the majority of our reports. When selecting direct funding in the portal, funding totals include contributions provided to PDPs and other intermediaries by their funders, but does not include grants where an intermediary organisations is the funder, since all onward funding is excluded to avoid double counting the value of funders' original contributions.

In mid-2022, we have added the option to view the alternative flow of funding: keeping the funding going straight to product developers (including self-funding), but substituting the inward funding to PDPs and other intermediaries for the onward funding they provide to product developers. We call this the INDIRECT funding view. When INDIRECT funding is selected, funding totals include the payments to product developers disbursed by PDPs and other intermediary organisations, but not any funds given to these intermediaries, since including both flows would result in double counting.

As a result, direct and indirect funding figures relate to different measures of global funding and differ substantially. Note that some intermediaries report limited or no onward funding to the G-FINDER survey, causing us to underestimate the true levels of indirect funding. We hope to fill those gaps in the coming years.

Selecting DIRECT funding provides the clearest picture of who is providing funding to intermediaries, while selecting INDIRECT funding provides improved visibility of the ultimate recipients of intermediaries' funding, including those in LMICs